Jo and Rob Molyneux bought this relocated 1920s villa at Whitford three years ago. It was directly across the road from the home where they live, and the attraction was to have some extra land as well as a possible investment.

"It is quite different to our place across the road," says Rob. "Our place is garden and trees and no paddocks. This is more paddocks and a bit more rural."

Rob, who has lived in New Zealand for 21 years, says the move to Whitford has been a gradual progression.

"I started at St Heliers Bay as I had never lived by the sea before. Then we gradually made our way to east Auckland, Pakuranga and moved to Whitford six years ago.

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"It is where we had always wanted to live. With work and a few investments in property we managed to move up the ladder. We got our rural lifestyle."

This house at 500 Whitford Rd was rented when they bought it but after the tenants left, they used the opportunity of having it vacant to make improvements.

"We have repainted it, inside and out, put in a study," he says. "We have done quite a bit of work with the trees.

500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied
500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied

"There are lot of tropical palms and we removed some to make the sea view better so you can see out to the Whitford estuary, the gulf and the islands.

"We did some drainage work, and just some general work. We put in new carpets. But we thought we would leave the rest for the new owners, the bathrooms and kitchen, so they can do what they want."

The property has generous parking space in the turnaround driveway plus a second private driveway.

"There are two garages, so we have been using it for parking and storing the toys — cars, jet skis, classic cars, sports cars." Garaging has workshop areas and a wood shed.

They have used the property's 3.5ha for grazing their own sheep and the neighbour's.

500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied
500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied

Rob understands the villa had been moved on to the gently sloping site in the early 1970s, placed on top of a concrete block storey that has a rumpus room and kitchenette, two large bedrooms, study, bathroom and toilet. This area has a heat pump.

Upstairs, the original layout of two bedrooms now is one bedroom with water and rural views, with the second bedroom space used instead for an en suite and walk-in wardrobe.

Also on this level are the main living room with a wood burner, also looking north over the rural landscape towards the sea, kitchen and dining. French doors lead out to the deck. There is also a laundry, guest toilet and a bathroom with a separate bath and shower.

The villa still has its soaring 3.6m ceilings, original architraves, wood framing around the windows including the master bedroom's bay window and built-in bench seat, and french doors.

500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied
500 Whitford Rd, Whitford. Photo / Supplied

Rob thinks it's special to have a character villa in the middle of the country that it is private and secluded. Plus, you can't forget being close enough to the sea to enjoy the water.

And he loves his fishing and jet ski. He can launch his boat at Half Moon Bay or Maraetai.

And Whitford is only about 10 minutes from Botany Town Centre or Howick Village.

The couple are selling because they have finished the renovations and they would someone else to enjoy this sanctuary. "Someone with children as our kids have loved riding their bikes and go karts on the big long safe driveway," he says.

500 WHITFORD RD, WHITFORD
• 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 3 parking spaces.
• Land 3.54ha, house 210sq m.
• Price: By negotiation.
• Inspect: Sat/Sun 11am to noon.
• Schools: Shelly Park School, Somerville Intermediate, Botany Downs Secondary College.
• Contact: Bridget Bennett, Harcourts, 027 2930 772.